Texas Televangelist Gloria Copeland: 'Inoculate Yourself With the Word of God,' Don't Get a Flu Shot
We previously reported on the Genesis II church encouraging its members to drink bleach in order to cure autism, but televangelist Gloria Copeland is a close second when it comes to dangerously bad medical advice. Copeland, a former adviser to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, has publicly discouraged people from receiving flu shots, telling them instead to "inoculate yourself with the word of God."
This year has been one of the worst on record for flu deaths—53 children have died so far. The number of hospitalizations is even getting close to those seen in the 2009 swine flu outbreak. However, Copeland and her husband Kenneth, who runs Kenneth Copeland Ministries, have repeatedly told their followers that you don't need medicine if your belief in God is strong enough.
According to Gloria:
"If you say, 'Well, I don't have any symptoms of the flu,' well, great! That's the way it's supposed to be. Just keep saying that. 'I'll never have the flu. I'll never have the flu.' Put words. Inoculate yourself with the word of God."
The Copeland Ministries church currently has 1.5 million Facebook followers, 333,000 Twitter followers, over 72,000 YouTuber subscribers, and several branches around the world. Much like the Genesis II church, it seems like members are pressured into following its orthodoxy around health.
According to a former member of the Copeland church: "To get a vaccine would have been viewed by me and my friends and my peers as an act of fear—that you doubted God would keep you safe…We simply didn't do it."
And that makes sense, considering that Gloria Copeland has called cancer drugs 'poison' and encouraged churchgoers to come to the ministry instead:
"We know what's wrong with you. You've got cancer. The bad news is we don't know what to do about it—except give you some poison that will make you sicker. Now, which do you want to do? Do you want to do that, or do you want to sit in here on a Saturday morning, hear the word of God, and let faith come into your heart and be healed?"
If you're wondering when the Copeland church is going to turn into a CDC nightmare, it's already happened at least once—in 2013, the church suffered a significant measles outbreak in which 21 unvaccinated members became infected. It's only a matter of time until something worse happens.